How Barcelona’s Lionel Messi ruined our Norwich City photographer’s night - and his camera
14:59 26 February 2016
Spare a thought for our superb photographer Paul Chesterton, who travels with myself and Paddy Davitt across the country documenting Norwich City’s fortunes – because he now has a story about the gem of a picture he never got to take.
Paul was at The Emirates in midweek working at Arsenal’s Champions League visit from Barcelona. Lionel Messi scores his first goal, and duly runs towards our man and his camera to celebrate. That money shot, seconds away, and then... BANG!
Sadly, Messi was also running towards the Barca fans – two of whom broke free of their ranks and kicked off a pitchside melee that saw Paul smashed on the back of his head by a flailing limb, the glass in his eye-wateringly expensive camera lens also smashed and that iconic shot of a football legend rendered a fleeting memory and a tale of what might have been.
The rest of his night was a write-off – sadly, unlike the damages. The bill came to more than £500 for PC but the good news is he has all the replacement gear he needs to set about his usual top job at the King Power Stadium tomorrow.
By all accounts, Paul gets on pretty well with the regular Norwich City away fans he tends to sit in front of during games. And let’s be frank, their opportunities to get as excited as those Barca fans have been few and far between this term.
Still, it would be nice if PC at least got the chance to take some pictures of a few smiles this time around. It’s been a little too long.
• This article previously appeared in Michael Bailey’s column